Loss of biodiversity threatens the world's ecosystem and tropical forests provide the last hope of sustainability. Environmental accounting focuses on sustainable production and development generates data and employs methodologies for valuing natural resources. Thus, by providing these accounting realities conservation is not only encouraged but becomes a critical necessity. This study aimed to evaluate the potential roles of environmental accounting in conserving biodiversity in tropical forests. Specifically, it is aimed to estimate the rate of deforestation and evaluate its effect on biodiversity for accounting purposes. The study was conducted in the Forest Reserves of Osun State, Nigeria through a survey of communities around the Forest Reserves to obtain the Contingent Values of biodiversity. Data on rates of deforestation were obtained from records of the Forestry Management Department of the Ministry of Environment in Osun State, Nigeria. These data were analyzed using the LOGIT regression Model and the amounts of WTP was aggregated and extrapolated to obtain the total value of biodiversity losses in the Forest Reserves. Results showed a per capita annual cost of 25USD resulting to over 2,824,408.125 USD as the lost value or depreciation of biodiversity in the study area. This depreciation cost is tremendous requiring urgent attention to conservation. It was concluded that the emergence of environmental accounting tools has significant consequence on biodiversity preservation because what is counted is what is valued and what is valued is what is treasured. This calls for policy and stringent action towards conservation of forest resources.
Key words: Biodiversity, environmental accounting, deforestation, depreciation.
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